Perfect salt and pepper squid


350g small squid, cleaned
1/2tsp black peppercorns
1/2tsp Sichuan peppercorns
1tsp sea salt flakes
5tbsp potato flour
1 egg, beaten
Groundnut or vegetable oil, to fry
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
1 garlic clove, sliced
Fresh coriander and lime wedges, to serve


  • Separate the bodies of the squid from the tentacles, and cut them into triangles. Score the inside with a diamond pattern, making sure not to cut right the way through the flesh. Add to the tentacles, pat dry and set aside.
  • Heat a dry frying pan and add both varieties of peppercorn. Toast for a minute or so until fragrant, then tip into a pestle and mortar, along with the salt, and crush to a powder. Mix two-thirds of this with the potato flour in a shallow bowl and set the rest aside. Put the beaten egg into a second bowl.
  • Half fill a large pan or wok with oil, or use a deep fat fryer, and heat it to 180C, or until a small piece of bread browns in 15 seconds.
  • Meanwhile, dip the squid pieces in the egg, then in seasoned flour until well coated. Fry – in batches if necessary – until pale golden, stirring once to make sure they don't stick to the bottom.
  • As they're cooking, heat a further tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Use a slotted spoon to lift the cooked squid on to kitchen towel and tip the chilli, spring onion and garlic into the frying pan. Fry very briefly until it all starts to caramelise, then add the squid to the pan and toss together.
  • Tip on to a serving plate, sprinkle with a little more seasoning and serve with a little coriander and some wedges of lime.